Durbin Avoids Arbitration – Phillies Nation

Durbin Avoids Arbitration

Todd Zolecki reports (via Twitter) that Chad Durbin avoided salary arbitration by agreeing to a $2.125 million contract.

Durbin signed with the Phillies as a free agent in 2007.  He pitched very well in 2008 which earned him $1.635 million in 2009.  In 2010, Durbin gets a significant raise despite pitching almost 20 innings less and having an ERA almost two points higher in 2009, compared to 2008.  Durbin went 2-2 with a 4.39 ERA and 1.48 WHIP in 69.2 innings last year.

Carlos Ruiz, Shane Victorino and Joe Blanton remain arbitration eligible.



  1. John

    January 18, 2010 at 11:02 pm

    Wow…another retarded move by Ruben….

    I’ve got a great idea for running a team…let’s overpay everyone!!!
    Let’s give Durbin 2.1 million so we can get the 15th worst reliever by ERA in the NL…. or 8th worst by FIP…..AWESOME

  2. WFC010

    January 18, 2010 at 11:51 pm

    John: Don’t be so sure that this move was “retarded” since his salary was likely to be even higher, had it gone into arbitration. You seem way too quick to pick on a decision, without knowing all the details involved. The market has been crazy this year, and many okay or fair players have been getting a lot more than they deserve. Get used to it, and don’t blame everything on Amaro.

  3. hank you WF010

    January 19, 2010 at 12:45 am

    It was a good move! People tend to forget our pitchers struggled last year a little from over pitching the season before due to the series.
    This year with some having less innings could very well have a stronger year next year.
    I could be wrong, just like John, of course.

  4. Aaron

    January 19, 2010 at 2:26 am

    “I could be wrong, just like John…”

  5. Ed R.

    January 19, 2010 at 7:36 am

    Not to mention the pen was burned out early in the year from the starters doing their best to not go more than 5 innings.

  6. bfo_33

    January 19, 2010 at 7:51 am

    The single biggest improvement to the pen has already happened – signing Doc, who will go at least 7, typically 8 every time out. Relievers, esp middle relievers, are best when used sparingly. If Hamels comes back to 2008 form, we will have one of the better pens regardless of who we sign. The good lefty/righty splits will also help Happ and Blanton (especially Happ). Price seems a little high, but matches the market.

    Not related, but reported by Gammons that the Red Sox backed off a 4 year deal with Bay when they took a look at his knees. There should be some type of disclosure requirement between medical staffs. I guess it is possible that the Mets knew, but seems unlikely (although I don’t think they would have matched the Stl offer for Holiday).

  7. The Dipsy

    January 19, 2010 at 8:19 am

    bfo – I am sure the Mets knew that Boston didn’t like his knees which tells me that – Jason Bay has bad knees. But, Theo Epstein’s job is secure and Omar Minaya’s is not. Plus, Omar Minaya is an idiot, so it doesn’t surprise me that Minaya would sign a player to who has a physical infirmity to a six year deal. If the Mets don’t win, or come reasonably close, this year – he’s a goner.

    The Dipsy

  8. Doug

    January 19, 2010 at 8:26 am

    And you also got to remember Durbin pitched part of the season with that injury he had and didn’t tell anybody til he went on the DL

  9. Ed R.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:31 am

    The Met’s won win, the Met’s are incapable of winning. And the Jason Bay signing is a prime example of that. Minaya is infact an idiot and will not make it through this year in my opinion. The Met’s and Minaya knew Bay had knee problems. I am sure the Sox told them such, but even if they didn’t, the fact that no other team in baseball wanted Bay, and certainly not at the length and dollar figure he got should tell you a little something about what teams expected from Bay.

    Bay is a slightly better outfielder than Pat the Bat with less of an arm. Imagine Burrell trying to play LF in Citi Field…or any field with a decent sized outfield. Not good.

    I for one can not wait to see this signing fail. Sure the Met’s may score an additional run a game compared to last year…won’t matter when their 2-5 starters are still career AAA pitchers at best.

    Meet the Mess, Meet the Mess. Step right up and BEAT the Mess.

  10. Ed R.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:33 am

    In other news…look at the Phillies newest slim figure…


    Way to go Charlie.

  11. psujoe

    January 19, 2010 at 8:36 am

    good for Charlie. Send your dies program to Andy Reid!

  12. Ed R.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:49 am

    Pretty sure all the food Charlie hasn’t been eating has been going right into Andy Reid’s mouth.

  13. Dudley Monk

    January 19, 2010 at 9:54 am

    I cannot believe the Phils signed Brandon Duckworth. Holy Crap !!!!

  14. The Original Chuck P

    January 19, 2010 at 9:59 am

    Durbin is a decent bulpen arm. He’s a guy that can pitch the 7th in a meaningful situation or eat innings if called to do so… he’s pretty dependable and fairly consistent. I’m ok with it… it’s a bit pricey for a guy that doesn’t have shut down ability but he throws strikes and he helps this team. We need a few guys like Durbin… you can’t have a team of high risk, high reward guys.

  15. Chuck

    January 19, 2010 at 10:06 am

    I certainly like Durbin at this price as opposed to no Durbin and then Clay Condrey for less money…he is consistent…and while he doesn’t have that classic “shut-down” approach…during the postseason last year I remember some of his performances as being pretty stud-like…

  16. George

    January 19, 2010 at 10:14 am

    Duckworth was signed solely as a warm body for the minors. Too bad he’s not very warm.

    There was some disagreement among doctors as to Bay’s medical condition. According to some, his knees aren’t really that bad, and he’s never been on the DL because of them. Still, you wonder, especially in the light of Beltran’s problems with the Mets’ medical staff. This signing has “Mike Hampton” written all over it.

    The Durbin signing was decent. His raise was small, he’s a useful pitcher and just as cheap as anyone except a AAA guy or an injured veteran. He also knows the team, and the team knows him. There are still two spots left; three, actually, until Romero returns, and they’ll be filled with the really cheap guys like Bastardo or Escalona.

    Will Manuel be able to “trust his gut” now?

  17. The Original Chuck P

    January 19, 2010 at 10:50 am

    Omar Minaya has proven himself to be a terrible GM… I’ll admit that he has been bitten by bad luck but he has not done himself any favors. 2 out of the Mets 3 starting outfielders have knee concerns… patrolling the outfield at Citi is tough enough without a bad flipper. They still don’t have a first baseman and they still don’t have a #2 starter. That ship is sinking quickly…

  18. BS

    January 19, 2010 at 11:28 am

    Meh. I don’t understand why they didn’t non-tender Durbin in the first place. They would’ve been better off going after a cheaper option like DJ Carrasco.

  19. George

    January 19, 2010 at 12:20 pm

    Go after DJ Carrasco? I think there’s a reason why no one except the Pirates seemed to be interested, and even they only signed him to a minor league deal.

    Giving Durbin a contract was a no-brainer. He’s proven his reliability. True, he might not be spectacular, but he’ll do the job. With all the injury concerns the Phils already have (Lidge, Romero, Moyer) they need a guy who’s been healthy. He’s a reliever now, but he’s also started in the past. An all around good option to have on the team.

    Minaya appears to be hoping Delgado can play first base. Another injury risk! And all the really decent #2 starters have already signed elsewhere, so he’ll be signing a potential cripple there, too.

    Frank Wren of the Braves has signed a number of risks, too. We may see a three way battle in the NL East–for the bottom!

  20. j reed

    January 19, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    I thought Pelfrey was their #2. Cue laughter. Alot of Mets fans were on fangraphs the other day basically saying Minaya blows but over the past few years alot decisions were made by Jeff Wilpon. With Minaya’s authority to make decisions waning, his job title is now Jeff Wilpon’s NY media flack jacket. No first baseman and you watch LaRouche settle for 5 million to pay on the D-Backs. It’s gotta suck being a Mets fan.

  21. j reed

    January 19, 2010 at 12:40 pm

    I thought Delgado was done. Guess not.

  22. Don M

    January 19, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    Pelfrey gives us fits.. I think he’s pretty good

    Durbin is one of the few reliable bullpen guys that can give you multiple innings, while holding a lead.

    I liked Condrey too, but it appears that his constant nagging injuries wrote his ticket out of town … Durbin isn’t spectacular, nor is he asked to be..

    He goes out, does his job, and gets paid what a reliever gets paid.. $2.125 M really isn’t that much for a guy that can pitch in any situation in any game.. even a spot starter if need be to get you 4 innings

  23. NJ

    January 19, 2010 at 1:00 pm

    I’m on the side of the Gillick/Amaro front office but I don’t like this move and I’m starting to question the Lee move now (please don’t use that to open that argument back up…).

    I love the Durbin signing in ’07 as well as the re-signing last in ’08 but like the figure Blanton is going to get is this value for the production we’re likely to see?

    Could we not find arms worth taking a shot on like we did with Durbin? Does the front office have so little in the arms in the system to contribute? Could the approximate $10m on those two players and whatever spare payroll have gone towards taking the draft picks for Lee and being more aggressive in the international market to find a couple more prospects. I really like those former-Seattle kids and I don’t expect the Phils to be a better team this year but I think the money could used better in some instances…

    That said good on you Chad, looking forward to a good season where you don’t get run into the ground like ’07… Go Phils

  24. joedad

    January 19, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    Why would anyone think the Phils overpaid for Durbin. You are going to quibble over a few hundred thousand for a veteran middle reliever?

    I knew there was something wrong with Bay when the Red Sox told him to hit the road after he was their most consistent power hitter. Mets are a complete disaster but since they are in New York, they always need to at least pretend to contend.

  25. Manny

    January 19, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    Well said, NJ.

    Re: Condrey… he’s a sinkerballer… and I liked him a lot, especially after the 09 season. Anyway, would’ve liked for him to stay but I really don’t think/hope this would be a factor in determining the team’s success…

  26. Don M

    January 19, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    Who the hell is “Lee” ??

  27. NJ

    January 19, 2010 at 1:21 pm

    I think the Phils overpaid Durbin because of Baez and the multitude of arms in the system. I think Charlie shortens his bullpen and at times in the year and leans on guys being afraid to let a guy with question-marks fight through a couple of bad outings to get to find form. I’d much rather see him more willing to work through a few young arms to find a couple of guys that can contribute instead of continually adding to a very expensive bullpen. That said that’s more to the Baez deal which I did understand the need for.

    On a personal level, if JC gets a guaranteed $12m (after whatever the Red Sox paid him in the year they waived him), Durbin deserves as much as he can get and then some. I firmly the Championship was won by guys like Durbin and Moyer going above and beyond in the lead-up be it on the mound or in the clubhouse.

  28. Chuck

    January 19, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    If we would be counting on Clay Condrey as to the reason for our success/failure…then we really aren’t a championship team..

    I liked Condrey, too…but between him and Durbin….I’ll take Durbin for a little more money any day

  29. Chuck

    January 19, 2010 at 1:37 pm

    There’s no doubt that we wouldn’t have won a WFC without “guys like Durbin and Moyer going above and beyond.”

    Durbin gives the bullpen and clubhouse a veteran, steady presence…that alone is worth a few hundred thousand.

  30. Don M

    January 19, 2010 at 1:56 pm

    “I’d much rather see him more willing to work through a few young arms to find a couple of guys that can contribute instead of continually adding to a very expensive bullpen.”

    Except when they try to do that, people flip out, call them cheap.. and then start saying how bad the organization is

    so then they go get guys like Eyre, Pedro Martinez.. and people bitch about signing washed-up veterans ..

    there is no perfect solution. . . but $2.125 M for a proven MLB pitcher, with playoff and big game experience is a pretty good signing in my eyes!

  31. NJ

    January 19, 2010 at 2:05 pm

    Don M- I completely agree, the organization shouldn’t care about the fans flipping out when it comes to a few young relievers making the pro-rated $400k or whatever it is… They know more than we do and there’s no point having so much pitching depth in the minors when your unwilling to let some of these guys try and cut their teeth at the major league level and over time not just 5-10 appearances at a time… The cost of our bullpen is ridiculous compared to some other teams in our position when it comes to middle relievers and the last couple of guys on the staff.

    I think Durbin is a very good signing at that price on its own, but I think the way the Phillies have built the bullpen is broken and is in desperate need of youth and not a Mike Zagusrki injury call-up, a commitment to finding 3 or 4 guys out of a absolute plethora to follow the likes of Madson and Myers is what’s needed.

  32. Don M

    January 19, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    I think that is what they’re doing with … Escalona, Mathieson, Bastardo, etc

    But you can’t sacrifice low priced, proven veterans like Durbin to make room for unproven guys like those.

    If it was a big money move, like getting rid of Romero, Madson, or Lidge.. which would free up extra money …that would be one thing.

    but saving $2 M on a relief pitcher won’t make or break the budget

  33. The Dipsy

    January 19, 2010 at 2:22 pm

    Wait. I like Bastardo and Escalona. One of those guys will be the loogy this year. What they really, really need is the LH that can pitch to righties, Like Romero is. But, something tells me that Romero is going to disappoint this year. I don’t see any reason why we just can’t tell Jamie now that he’s pitching outta the pen and see how it goes for 40 or 50 games.

    The Dipsy

  34. Chuck

    January 19, 2010 at 2:31 pm

    Well…if Jamie is behind in his rehab….and Kyle Kendrick impresses in Clearwater…then Jamie WILL be “pitching outta the pen.”…and that’s not such a bad thing..

    And…what logical reason do you have for J.C. Romero “disappointing” this year??

  35. j reed

    January 19, 2010 at 2:46 pm

    I would like to see the organization either get our young pitchers ready and use them or put some of them together in some kind of trade package if possible. If neither of those two options than just spend the money they need too. And I am assuming by all the hand wringing about the budget we should be bringing these kids up, but if we do then we can’t afford all the blown saves and the team wide batting slumps we are prone to and expect to make up for games lost to rookie learning curves.

  36. j reed

    January 19, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    that is “we can’t afford to blow saves like we did last year and go into team wide batting slumps ….”

  37. Don M

    January 19, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    Didn’t we JUST package young pitchers in the past two seasons.. to improve each time

    Joe Blanton.. then Cliff Whatshisname.. then Roy Halladay!

  38. Chuck

    January 19, 2010 at 3:00 pm

    Don’t forget Jamie Moyer in ’07….we got rid of two minor league pitchers for him..

    Oh, that’s right …I forgot…most of you didn’t like that deal either.

  39. Big Daddy

    January 19, 2010 at 3:07 pm

    JRoll is getting married this weekend in the Cayman Islands.
    This morning there was a 5.8 earthquake on the Island. He has Emailed some of his teammates that he is OK

  40. Jeff of Nova

    January 19, 2010 at 3:24 pm

    Here is how I look at is


    Closer- Lidge
    Setup- Madson
    Lefty specialist- Romero

    If they go with 12 I would guess Escalano wil be dropped or Mathieson

  41. Jeff of Nova

    January 19, 2010 at 3:29 pm

    Don’t forget Moyer was great out of the pen, and I am sure he will be again. He has nasty pitches that totaly throw batters off the first time through the lineup, with him pitching out of the bullpen he doesn’t need to pitch more than one time through. His probelms last year were that the lineups caught up to him 2nd tome through and 3rd time they were teeing off. He is not a starter at this point in his career.

    Kendrick will give 5 inning s and maybe more on occasion and has better upside with youth. Maybe we see some else like Savery or Stutes. Time will tell

  42. j reed

    January 19, 2010 at 3:32 pm

    Don M. –
    “Didn’t we JUST package young pitchers in the past two seasons.. to improve each time

    Joe Blanton.. then Cliff Whatshisname.. then Roy Halladay”

    First off, that’s a straw man argument. You can infer from the context of these posts, that I was thinking a reliever or back end starter not a stud. Furthermore, if we, being over budget as it and have the need, but don’t bring up these kids, then why have them. Get something for them to so you can get what you need.
    And you said “saving $2 M on a relief pitcher won’t make or break the budget” Didn’t they tell us they were already over budget? I liked what Durbin showed us in the post season, other than that bad performance in game 6. I think he will have a good year…. but NJ, once i thought about it, is right if we are indeed, according to the FO, over budget.

  43. George

    January 19, 2010 at 3:42 pm

    The Phils HAVE used inexperienced bullpen arms over the past several years, so that’s not a valid argument. Fabio Castro, Escalona, Zagurski, Bastardo, and others I just don’t remember have all been tried since 2007. Some did okay, some didn’t, but that wasn’t for lack of use or lack of faith in them. Castro, for instance, was used in some pretty tight spots.

    They’ll be trying at least two more youngsters this year, because they have two openings and they’re at the limit of the budget. Three if Romero is out a long time. They needed at least one more experienced bullpen piece, and that’s Durbin. $2+ million is a bargain when it legitimately fills a need. Comparable arms were signing for about the same, anyway, unless they were injury risks such as Condrey.

  44. j reed

    January 19, 2010 at 3:42 pm

    Oh Moyer we got rid of two minor league pitchers. You forgot about all the money we are paying him. He’s a sunk cost…paying a 48 yr old guy (now injured) to be 6.5 million dollar long man…

  45. Chuck

    January 19, 2010 at 3:51 pm

    At the time….giving Moyer the two year deal seemed like the right thing to do..

    He just came off a great season in ’08…winning 16 games….getting us to the postseason and beyond…and you’re forgetting what he did in ’07…coming over from Seattle.

    If Jamie Moyer isn’t here for those two years…’07 and ’08…..we probably don’t get to the playoffs and certainly not a WFC..

    So trading to get him…to improve our team’s chances… WAS essential…and proved the right thing to do.

    So..yeah..we give him the 2 year deal…which seemed ok at the time..
    That’s what it took to retain his services…

    Is he a drain on the budget now??….sure…but you can’t look back and criticize management for going out and getting him in the first place.

  46. Manny

    January 19, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    Chad Durbin you’re a millionaire!

  47. BS

    January 19, 2010 at 7:26 pm

    @George: to be honest, I was surprised by the lack of interest leaguewide in Carrasco. The guy can pitch multiple innings, keeps the ball on the ground, doesn’t walk a lot of people and succeeded in the AL. Seems like one of those “low risk, high reward” type of guys Rube’s always talking about.

  48. longhorn

    June 23, 2010 at 8:36 pm

    That’s great, it starts with an earthquake, birds and snakes, an aeroplane – Lenny Bruce is not afraid.

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